Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn of the Bhumjaithai Party was appointed to the cabinet first as Minister of Tourism and Sports in 2019 and presided over the biggest crisis the industry has ever experienced since it first took off in the 1960s. In his new role, he faces the challenging prospect of implementing the Pheu Thai Party’s minimum wage policies which are expected to meet resistance from the business sector and employers.
New Minister of Labour, Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, has ordered his 6th-floor executive suite at the ministry building in Din Daeng, Bangkok refurbished ahead of his first official day at work on September 7th after discovering it has carpeted flooring.
The incoming Minister of Labour, the former Minister for Tourism and Sports in the previous government and Bhumjaithai Party stalwart, has ordered his office on the sixth floor of the 15-story ministry building to be revamped ahead of his first day on the job on September 7th.
The new cabinet will be sworn in on Tuesday with ministers taking up their official duties in the days after.
Former Tourism minister oversaw the biggest crisis in the kingdom’s history during which many hotel bedrooms saw carpets removed on health grounds
Minister Phiphat, the country’s former Tourism and Sports Minister appointed in 2019, oversaw the biggest crisis the industry has seen during the Covid era which it is still trying to recover from.
During that period, many hotel bedrooms in Thailand removed carpeted floorings to comply with government programmes overseen by the Ministry of Public Health, then overseen by Bhumjaithai Party colleague, Deputy Prime Minister Anutin Charnvirakul, in conjunction with the tourism ministry to allow limited access to the kingdom.
In his new department, the minister will be trying to negotiate a compromise between employer demands and the minimum wage policies advocated by the ruling Pheu Thai Party including a ฿600 daily minimum wage pledge and a guarantee of ฿25,000 per month for all university educated employees in the economy.
Top officials at the Ministry were briefed after Mr Phiphat’s appointment on his allergy to dust
It is understood that following a review of the office of the Minister of Labour in recent days, Mr Phiphat discovered that it was carpeted.
The large office with interconnected rooms currently has a beige white pile together with a large executive desk and an informal seating area.
Mr Phiphat had previously briefed officials that he suffered from an allergy to dust particles.
Officials at the ministry were also made aware of the Minister’s allergy when he was appointed in recent days by Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin.
On Monday, as the Minister was briefed into his new portfolio he had to move to an assistant’s office on the same floor to carry on the work.
It is understood that the large executive suite will get a makeover with the carpet being removed and replaced with laminate flooring.
Minster to deputy’s office in the interim
The Ministry of Labour building is located in the Ding Dang area of Bangkok.
Speaking to reporters on Monday, Mr Phiphat said he was not sure whether the office would be refurbished by the 7th of September but said he would work in the meantime from the office of the Deputy Minister of Labour until the refurbishment was completed.
Mr Phiphat met senior ministry executives and civil servants at the building at 9 am on Monday morning.